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The Use of Transplanted Giant Clams to Identify Pollutants in Storm Water Discharges at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll

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The purpose of this study was to identify pollutants and their sources in the near shore marine environment at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll. Biomonitoring was conducted in conjunction with sediment and storm water sampling. Juvenile giant clams, Tridacna maxima, were deployed near industrial storm water discharges in the Kwajalein Landfill and Harbor, centers of industrial activity, and at a reference site in both the dry season and wet season.

Giant clams were an effective tool for identifying and monitoring pollution in a coral reef environment. Elevated levels of metals, PAHs, pesticides, and PCBs were detected in clams from both locations. Combining biomonitoring with conventional environmental sampling allowed the correlation of pollutants in organisms with sources in the environment. Trends in clam tissue, sediment, and storm water data suggested that both sediment and storm water are significant sources of the pollutants detected in clams, and may require additional control or remediation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2001

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